Summary: Some teachers refer to five compartments or divisions that exist beneath the surface of the earth on which we live.


According to Clarence Larkin, Finis J. Dake and Others

I. The underworld has often been thought of as one compartment known as hell where the wicked

dead all go after death and sometimes referred to as the location of a group of fallen angels who have rebelled at some point in past history. However, the underworld cannot be thought

of as one compartment but several. Some teachers refer to five compartments or divisions that

exist beneath the surface of the earth on which we live. These compartments are:

(1) Tartarus,

(2) Shoel-Hades which consists of (a)Paradise and (b) Hell,

(3) the Abyss or bottomless pit, and

(4) the Lake of Fire.


A. Define tartarus

5020 tartaróo – properly, send to Tartarus ("Tartaros"). The NT uses 5020 (tartaróo) for the netherworld – the place of punishment fit only for demons. Later, Tartaros came to represent eternal punishment for wicked people.

"5020 (tartaróo) is a Greek name for the under-world, especially the abode of the damned – hence to cast into hell" (A-S); to send into the subterranean abyss reserved for demons and the dead.

[In Greek mythology, Tartarus was a "place of punishment under the earth, to which, for example, the Titans were sent" (Souter).]

B. Prison of the fallen angels referred to as the "sons of God" in Gen 6 that sinned both before and after the flood.

C. Defining Scriptures:

1. II Peter 2:4 "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Strong's 5020], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;"

2. Jude 6 "And the angels which kept not their first estate [original, creative position], but left their own habitation [Heavenly dwellings], he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

Jude 7 "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

"like manner" seems to indicate that the sin of the angels and the sin of Sodom and Gomorrha were similar sexual sins.

D. No humans are or will ever be in tartarus.


A. Define

1. Shoel is OT Hebrew Define:

07585 Sh@’ owl {sheh-ole} grave 31, hell 31, pit 3

grave, hell, pit

Or shol {sheh-ole'}; from sha'al; Hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates -- grave, hell, pit.

underworld (place to which people descend at death)

2. Hades is NT Greek Define:

Hell 10, grave 1

86 hádes (from 1 /A "not" and idein/eido, "see") – properly, the "unseen place," referring to the (invisible) realm in which all the dead reside, i.e. the present dwelling place of all the departed (deceased); Hades.

hadés: Hades, the abode of departed spirits

In Biblical Greek it is associated with Orcus, the infernal regions, a dark and dismal place in the very depths of the earth, the common receptacle of disembodied spirits. Usually Hades is just the abode of the wicked.

3. Comment Dr. Watson from G.F. Taylor The Second Coming of Christ

Hebrew scholars tell us that there is a place beneath the surface of the earth called in the Hebrew Shoel. The Greek word for the same place is Hades. The word shoel occurs in the Hebrew OT 65 times, and in our English Bible is translated 31 times by the word "hell" and 31 times by the word "grave" and three times by the word "pit". The Greek word "hades," which means "the unseen world," occurs 11 times in the NT, and is mostly translated by the word "hell," and sometimes by the word "grave." But both words mean "the unseen world of the souls," whether good or bad. Now, remember that these two words do not in a single instance in the Bible signify the place where dead bodies are buried, and hence should never be translated "grave," as the word grave, or tomb or sepulcher, is a different word entirely; but "shoel" and "hades," are expressly for souls, proving that the body and soul have different receptacles after death.

B. Consist of two compartments divided by a "great gulf" Luke 16:19-31 Read

1. Before the resurrection of Christ all the righteous dead went down to one of these compartments, while the wicked dead went down to the other; the one into peace and happiness, the other into fear and torment.

2. The righteous dead could not enter Heaven

Man's fall had closed the doors of heaven. The ancient sacrifices provided for temporal salvation; but they could never provide of eternal salvation (Heb 10:1-4). Hence no man could enter heaven until Jesus made an atonement sufficient to settle

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